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Google Stopped Supporting Rel=prev/next in Search Indexing Years Ago

Google finally decided to tell the search community that rel=”next” and rel=”prev” haven’t been used in years.

John Mueller from Google broke the news on Twitter earlier today:

Shortly after, the Google Webmasters account made an official announcement:

Google has long recommended using rel=prev/next markup when publishing a paginated series of web pages.

The markup would communicate to Google that the individual pages are all part of the same series.

Rel=prev/next markup also sent signals to Google about which page in the series is first, second, third, and so on.

Now, Google doesn’t support the markup at all.

For years (apparently) Google hasn’t been using signals from rel=prev/next when indexing content in search results.

What has Google been doing instead?

No More Rel=prev/next

Google has been indexing content as it’s found by Google’s crawlers, Mueller says.

In other words, web pages in a series are indexed the same as any other piece of single-page content.

As it turns out, publishers are good at sending the appropriate signals to Google without rel=prev/next.

Publishers can send signals to Google in other ways, such as linking to other pages of a series within the body content.

Think about how you would communicate to a searcher that the page they landed on is part 3 out of 5 in a series.

When the pagination is obvious to a reader it should be obvious to Google as well.

Another option is to create more single-page content instead of paginated content. Google says users prefer it, although multi-page content is still acceptable for search.

Category News SEO
SEJ STAFF Matt G. Southern Senior News Writer at Search Engine Journal

Matt G. Southern, Senior News Writer, has been with Search Engine Journal since 2013. With a bachelor’s degree in communications, ...

Google Stopped Supporting Rel=prev/next in Search Indexing Years Ago

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